Lady Gaga 'outerwear' helps to boost Asos sales by 30 per cent

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The Independent Online

Lady Gaga proved the unlikely inspiration for a sales boost of almost a third at online fashion group Asos, the latest retailer to post strong results over Christmas.

The Poker Face singer's fashion for wearing "underwear as outerwear" helped drive sales up 30 per cent year-on-year over the five weeks to 3 January, according to a company spokesman.

Other popular items sold by the online group, which stands for As Seen on Screen and targets 16- to 34- year-olds, included party dresses, lacy clothing and Ugg boots.

In a brief Christmas trading statement, Asos said sales for the 42 weeks to 17 January were up 38 per cent year-on-year.

Nick Robertson, the chief executive, said it had been an "excellent Christmas for Asos. Sales and margin were both strong and we exited the Christmas period with a clean stock position". The group, which was launched in 2000, now has 1.5 million active customers, up 25 per cent over this time last year.

Mr Robertson added the group was trading in line with board expectations "and remains confident for the outcome for the full year". It expects sales to hit £230m this year.

Asos's strong results follow a strong performance over Christmas from retailers including Next and House of Fraser.

Asos is focusing on growing its international business in 2010, which doubled in the past 42 weeks. It is planning to launch a standalone website in the US this year.

The share price fell 6 per cent to 441p, however, as revenues came in marginally below analyst expectations. Contrary to expectations the snow had an adverse impact on performance as it affected deliveries.

Natalia Marisova, an analyst at Investec, said that although sales remain strong Asos will face increasing competition from rivals including New Look and Top Shop.